Reaching Stellar Campaign Priorities: Scholarships

New UIS alumni

The good that scholarships do – after graduation

Each year, many generous alumni and friends of UIS invest in students’ lives by funding scholarships. For the many highly qualified students at UIS who face financial obstacles to success, scholarships allow them to stay in school and focus more on their education as they do so. No wonder that scholarships are a top priority for the new UIS Reaching Stellar Campaign.

If you join other alumni in contributing to a scholarship at UIS, however, you will also be investing in the families and communities of recipients after they graduate. Here three examples (among many).

Ronda GuytonRonda Guyton

B.A. 2004 (Criminal Justice)
Recipient of the Lee Humphrey Dodd Memorial Scholarship and
The William H. Chamberlain Memorial Scholarship

Currently Ronda is Undersheriff Correctional Superintendent at the Peoria County Sheriff’s Office—the first black woman to achieve this rank in Peoria County. According to a story in the Peoria Journal Star, “She believes many jail inmates need help, and with the proper assistance could establish new lives and not return to the facility.”

A breast cancer survivor in 2012, Guyton is the founder of the Living to Serve Foundation, Inc.  She received the Central Illinois Hero award in 2016, the UIS Alumni Volunteer Award in 2008 and 25 Women in Leadership Award in 2012.  She earned a certificate in nonprofit management from the University of Illinois Chicago in 2016. “I have had the opportunity to do what I love and that is being involved in the community,” she said. Learn more about Ronda Guyton.

Sara PaverSara Paver, Ph.D.

B.S. 2007 (Biology)
Ann M. and Raymond Pearson Capital Scholars Fund, 2003 – 2006
Luedke Family Scholarships, 2005, 2006

Sara is currently a post-doctoral scholar in the Department of the Geophysical Sciences at The University of Chicago, doing research on microbial communities in the Great Lakes. Prior to this, she spent a year as a Sea Grant Knauss Fellow in the Division of Ocean Sciences at the National Science Foundation. Sara has also been involved in developing lesson materials with hands-on activities and presenting them to local K-12 students. Learn more about Sara Paver.

William WadasWilliam Wadas

B.A. 2014 (Political Science)
Joan and James Stukel Scholarship Endowment

William is an Onboarding Specialist with Pacific Architects & Engineers, a support contractor for the United States Antarctic Program that is managed by the National Science Foundation. In his job, William helps to prepare candidates and newly hired staff for work overseas at U.S. research sites throughout the Antarctic continent. Here’s a UIS Snapchat Takeover from William Wadas.

“One afternoon shortly after graduation,” William said, “I found myself watching a documentary about the lives of support staff at research stations in Antarctica. The next day, I got in touch with one of the contracting firms and submitted an application, on a whim — a few months later, I found myself boarding a C-17 transport jet en route to Earth’s final frontier. Now I work full time helping others prepare to do the same.” Learn more about William Wadas.